New Year brings changes to state laws

By Denise Jackson

New Year brings changes to state laws

December 31, 2012 Updated Jan 3, 2013 at 2:54 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The start of the New Year will mean changes to several laws in Illinois. Some amendments will give the Peoria County State's Attorney's office more ammunition when prosecuting cases.

The shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has raised more awareness about gun control and mental illness. Peoria County State's Attorney Jerry Brady says an amendment to current law now requires circuit clerks in some cases to alert authorities if a person in question has a mental illness.

"It would be in guardianship circumstances where a person may be in need of a guardian and a family member request guardianship. Of course, mental health issue is raised and so the clerk then has a duty to report that to the Illinois State Police," he said.

That person like others with mental illness would be prohibited from getting a firearm owner identification card. Brady says another change will provide greater protection of the elderly who fall victim to financial exploitation.

"It's someone that the elderly person has confidence in which usually turns out to be a confidant or a child or a family member. So, the elderly person has this concern of reporting it because they feel if they do report that their family members or other family members who have not been involved in exploitation may take action and they may lose some of their rights," Brady said.

Brady says authorities will also have the ability to freeze defendants assets in cases of elder abuse.

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